Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Year, Healthy Mii

Usually I save my resolves and resolutions for my birthday, but I've been a slacken' lately.  This new year I decided to work on eating more veggies.  Specifically creating my meals to be half veggies and fruit, half whatever else.  It's not a huge challenge for me, as I love veggies, but finding things everyone else will eat (my husband, my nephew, my sister and brother in law) has proven slightly challenging. 

To keep my spirits up and to keep the challenge hard,  I have decided to document my meals on my other blog, the day's bite, one nosh at a time.  During this time I am also doing a colon cleanse that my brother in law fascinated me into doing.  With my father's lack of a colon and my husband's grandmother's lack of a colon, I just think we probably should spend a little extra tender loving care on that particular organ. 

Topping off the health craze, I just practically stole a wii from some new friends of ours.  Included in our extreme bargain was a wii fit plus.  I'm already logging minutes, which is a huge improvement over watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion Special.  

When I wrote #31, Improve My Health, I wasn't sure exactly what I was aiming for, but here wii go!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Eat, Eat, Drink

One of the things on the list that I have done and haven't written about yet is "Have a hundred dollar meal." I have always wanted to go to a schmantsy restaurant in Chicago or maybe New York and munch away at little plates of deliciousness that a renowned chef has decided I should like. My only hesitation usual involves the fact that I don't like seafood, lamb, goats cheese or gizzards. And these "tasting menus" always include something of the aforementioned.

Switching gears here a moment, we decided to leave our wedding via water taxi ride and gave up our honeymoon suite at the Hyatt for a Marriott Rewards points room at the Renaissance Hotel across the bay. For those of you who know my father, those reward points are difficult to wrestle out of his grip, so this is a big deal. There isn't much going on over in the seaport district on a Sunday evening, but there is a Morton's Steakhouse. Thanks to the generous gifting of some of our superb friends we had the most amazing meal at Mortons. Starting with an appetizer each, then a salad, then a really, superbly, wonderfully good steak and a veggie side and a few cocktails and a warm apple crisp, followed with a complementary aperitif, our meal topped a few dollars over $100 a person. Success and I didn't even have to eat a lamb.

Switch again. Having hit all the major sites of Paris on our real month long honeymoon, the husband and I have taken to wandering around the few areas of town the average tourist might not make it to. (See the previous blog for the tranny park as an example.) The other day as we wandered the canal St. Martin, we talked about the two best parts of Paris and the two that we'd do different. We were pretty much in agreement, going when it was warmer and getting a slightly bigger apartment (I'm keeping him awake as I type this.). And the two best parts were having friends visit, and for me, the cheese platter at this little highly recommended place in our neighborhood. Sigh.

Because we are out of major things to do, we are covering some of the major eats. One was the cheese place, tonight it was a cute place with great service where garlicky escargot were actually consumed by both of us; me eating with my nose scrunched, picturing the snails I have salted in my childhood. Before dinner we had a snack of chicken flavored Lays, which, simply tasted like chicken, yuck, and Pierre Hermes macaroons. Of all the great macaroons in this world, Pierre Herme and Laduree's are supposedly the best. We tried Laduree's and they were pretty spectacular, so I had some high expectations for the lauded Herme. The gorgeous silver speckled creamy white macaroon was quite good. The green tea, the chocolate-cassis, and the rose, which I normally like, were all pretty horrible.

The Paris food blogs all recommend a little known by tourists, but frequented by real chefs- including Pierre Herme, restaurant called Le Baratin. I have been excited to go for the past week when I read the reviews. After eating Herme's macaroons however, I do question his taste. Regardless we plan to go and I expect that oh so awesome, I wish they did it more in the states, Paris three course meal. And before I go, I will leave you with tomorrow's plan: (First a disclaimer for my mum: I am about to end this yummy sentence with a preposition.) Hot chocolate, rich enough, thick enough to temporarily stand a spoon in.

Friday, October 22, 2010

When in France... Where in France? We're in France!

Today the boy and I went to La Defense, a fantastically interesting building in the financial area of Paris. Not only is La Defense huge (large enough to house Notre Dame) but the entire complex was chocked with well designed or at the very least, well intentioned buildings. There are even open air art installations and a huge mosaic water fountain. La Defense directly faces Arc de Triomphe, and, although it is quite a ways away, gives this clear direct view of the arc and a few glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.

I had the brilliant idea to walk down the road towards the Arc de Triomphe and the husband acquiesced. A few blocks in we hopped on the shared bikes, called Velib', and continued on. In a change of game, we passed a park the husband had pointed out earlier on the map and we headed deep, deep inside this massive and ridiculous forest.

Much later, staring at the street signs and our map, I glanced over to a "woman" standing in the park wearing Joseph's coat of many colors. I glanced across the street to another "woman" wearing considerably less clothing and hooker boots and then surprised, I glanced back at "Joseph". "OMG! Babe! Hooker trannies!" He was busy consulting the map, but glanced up surprised and then smiled a huge smile. Nodding his head "Yes" he came back to inform me that we had traveled way off our map. In the mean time, he missed Joseph flashing her massive fake boobs and shaking her blond wig at the cars that passed. Total train wreck.

Because we were definitely lost and the road ahead was in a definite uphill incline, we decided to follow the cars back through the very beautiful, but now dark and twisty park. The park was dense with trees and the women (and women with penises) were clustered around them showing a lot of leg. There were lots of people out excersing on the paths, we ourselves may have been there on cruisers, but some, those in business suits perhaps, were there specifically for cruising.

Before this tranny incident, I had told the husband, "I like being lost. I know I'm in the park and eventually I will get out of it, I know I'm in Paris, so I don't really care if I know exactly where I am." Eventually showed up, and we were still lost in the park, we were surrounded by hooker trannies and my butt was good and tired of riding the stupid bike. My attitude towards our adventure had turned sour.

Finally, oh finally, we hit a real road and made it out of the park. As we crossed the intersection there was a sign, marking our return into the city limits of Paris. "We're in Paris!" We stopped at the second bike return we found and hopped onto the train, done with our idea of heading toward the Arc. And as you do when in France... we had Mexican food for dinner. Chips and salsa, a sweet reward after a long ride in the park.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

So I Never Claimed to be Degas or Monet...

But today we subwayed over to Montmarte, the formerly artsy area of Paris, and spent some time with our new art supplies. I colored up a bright and sprightly oil pastel of the Lapin Agile Cabaret and its charming ivy lined street while the husband sketched out the dome of the Sacre-Coeur church. I recognized what he had sketched immediately, and told him he wasn't allowed to mock mine before I showed it to him. He did manage to conjure up a complement, about a particular strong point on the picture and I told him my basic art philosophy. "When in doubt, smudge."

Later I managed to buy what must be the absolute worse two pastries in Paris. One was a gorgeous shimmery dense chocolately tarte and one was a lemon tarte that, if it wasn't enough that in chocolate the word "Citron" was scrolled across it, the bakery woman directly told me it was lemon. So what makes these said tartes so terrible? The chocolate one had the texture of overly hard jello and the flavor of overly weak jello and the "citron" tarte didn't have any flavor at all.

It was such a disappointment that after our local coffee shop/bar turned out to be jam packed on a friday night, I made the husband buy me a crepe with sugar from a vendor with graffiti all over the truck, who was upset with me for leaning on his candy display. The crepe was delicious and on the second to last bite sugar squirted up over the crepe, over my new sweater, over my new scarf, over my hand and all over my face. It wasn't a very good night for pastries. Or for that matter, endive, but I guess that's a different story for a different time.

In between scraping sugar off my the back of my ear and debating the usefulness of a college degree with the boy, we came up with a plan to do more sketching tomorrow and, for sure, some laundry.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mac in Paris

My former roommates arrived in Paris a few days after us and we took a whirl wind trip to Disney Paris, Versailles and all the other museums or tourist points that are mandatory Paris visiting sights. We covered Notre Dame and the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Paris sewer system, no really, we did, and it smells as bad as you expect it to. From the second day when we walked 8+ miles we have been going, going and more going.

The friends left us Saturday morning and the husband and I have been continuing to use our museum pass to cover as much ground as we can before it runs out. I made it to the Rodin museum and the textile museum, with a great YSL show and fantastic Jean Paul Gautier dresses from the 80's. In the mean time, the boy's computer decided to stop charging. Fortunately the Louvre has a big shopping area which included a Mac store and supposedly a Sephora. Our stop at the Mac store yielded us a charger and on we went. The Sephora store never materialized.

Problem number one. We got the charger home and the charger didn't work. Well, the next day was a Sunday and not many stores are open on Sundays. I set out for Sephora early in the day and the boy for Mac for charger number two, but my store wasn't open. We met up later in the day for a rather expensive but really delicious meal and for the sewer tour, then headed back home again to try the charger. The lovely mac store boys had decided the problem was we needed one with more charge. We knew the computer was working because we had plugged it in at the store.

Back at home, charger number two didn't work. Really? Really. We had an hour to make it back to the store, so back we tromped. The guys got us a third charger, exchanging our second and while in the store plugged in the third to make sure it worked. Nope. AH! So the employee gave us the address of a place where we could purchase an older charger.

Monday morning we started off to this place and wouldn't you know, the place (Mac world) only sold new chargers. (I asked for it in french and when he answered, I had no idea what he was saying, so I asked him in English if he spoke English, then I told him that was all the french I knew. Fortunately he laughed, but still didn't have the right charger.)

We headed then to Sephora for my over priced american brand blush and the boy for another Mac store around the corner. I was in luck. He was out. Grouchy Mac Groucherson (not me) then decided to walk home a little bit out of the way, because there was yet another Mac store on the way. We hit that store and the guy insisted that the very same charger that we had now purchased multiples of would definitely work. I convinced Groucherson to just get it and take it home. We did and plugged it in and... and... and...

IT WORKED! There was great rejoicing in the land.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Deux Americans en Paris

One of my favorite items on the list is "Live in a foreign country for a minimum of one month." It falls just short of another favorite, 'Touch every continent".

Since my Godly relationship has now turned into a new and fantastic marriage, we have combined our honeymoon with "Speak a foreign language fluently" and "Live in a foreign country".

Renting an apartment in Paris sounded like the best idea ever. Which, don't get me wrong, one day in, isn't too shabby. Well, our neighborhood is a little shabby, but its got a grip of affordable places to eat, drink and be merry or "married"- which for me is to spend money and for the husband is to sit by the canal and read.

The apartment is a teeny tiny studio, about the size of a small hotel room, with a bathroom so small the door won't close unless you sit on the toilet sidewise, feet in the shower. Great for a honeymoon retreat. We do have a fridge and stove top, so tonight we cooked something, which I made the husband google to find out what it was, as I cooked it. Looks like chicken, tastes like chicken, not called chicken? Turkey! It went fantastic with our bottle of wine and fresh, uh, french bread.

After dinner we went on a quest for a cheap flat iron and shampoo. Foreign currents tend to wreck havoc on american flat irons and mine was expensive enough not to sacrifice to an electrical current. After two days of searching we found one two blocks from the house. I snapped up shampoo and conditioner and my favorite deodorant not found in the US anymore and happily headed home.

Once in the tiny teeny tiny shower, I lathered up my hair. Hmmm.... not really lathering. More like conditioning.... hmmm... crap, thank you Rosetta Stone French I now have two bottles of conditioner, no shampoo, soaking wet hair and a bad attitude.

Au revoir.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"I Just Want to Eat"

My mother once said to me, "I've never met a person who does so much to not do anything." She was referring to my dedicated pursuit of a career goal of not having to work. It's not that I dislike work, in fact, I thrive when I have way too much to do, but so far "work" as I know it gets in the way of all the millions of things I would rather be doing. Sewing, traveling, sleeping in, learning french, cooking...

The boyfriend hears my endless ideas of things that I would rather be doing with my life and takes them with a grain of salt. I'm not sure whether it was opening a restaurant that's only open for brunch or learning how to make chocolates that made him laugh when I brought it up. "You really do just need to be independently wealthy, don't you?" He asked me. "Yes."

#40. Find out what I want to do career wise and do it.

This year I am starting a walking tour that visits restaurants in East Boston. It's a big deal to me because I've never pulled something like this off before. It's completely foreign to me to say "business owner" "my company" "press release". Because of issues brought up from the tour, I've been struggling with self worth. I have to remind myself that people start businesses everyday and although it's okay to fail, I don't need to expect to.

The tour has definantely given me a sense of purpose and a mission and a way to escape from the humdrum of my "real" job, but I'm still learning what I want to do with my career. I'm pretty sure it's something that will evolve over time. I met a tattoo artist today who works all over the country and just took over a lavender farm in Sonoma. I asked him, "when you were 19, is that what you pictured yourself doing?" "Actually," he responded, "I just like to eat. That's what I want to do." A little (okay, huge) part of me completely understood.